AZGem Gems
July, 2000
The World's Most Useful
Gem & Jewelry Monthly Newsletter

Written by Carolyn Doyle for customers of
The Dorado Company
and other visitors to the azgem.com website who subscribe.

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Usable Gems... and a little opinion.

Rare Gems

When is it fair to call it rare?

Personally, I think a gem can be defined as rare when it occurs in only a few locations, and in limited quantities.

As we discussed last month, Tanzanite probably fits into this category.

While we're not at all sure how much Tanzanite remains to be dug from the existing mines, we do know the entire world's supply comes from a few mines in a single region of Tanzania.

Hopefully, more deposits of the material will be discovered in the future.

Now lets look at a gem I would call extremely rare… Paraiba Tourmaline.

For ten years local miners in the state of Paraiba, Brazil, had been digging tourmaline from a smallish hill near the village of Sao Jose de Batalha.

The miner's efforts were not well rewarded. The stones were internally fractured from geologic stresses, so they were of low value.

Then… in 1989 the miners hit a vein of larger and better stones. What's more, the colors of these gems were unlike any tourmalines the gem world had ever seen.

Indeed, these intense colors had never been seen with consistency in any gem. Brilliant blues and greens in sizes up to 8 or 10 carats.

The colors were described using words like rich, neon, electric, peacock, and florescent.

When these gems first appeared on the market, they sold in the $100 to $200 per carat range. Prices rose slowly over the following months, but not exceptionally.

Then, when it became known that the mine was playing out and the supply would end, prices began leaping higher.

Today, 2 carat Paraiba Tourmalines with good color sell in the $2,500 per carat range. The top stones in larger sizes sell for up to $20,000 per carat. Yes, $100,000 for a five carat tourmaline.

I don't have any of those stones. We sold our last Paraiba Tourmaline in 1992.

But I do have Exotic Pink Tourmaline. And it looks like it's following a similar path.

The world has a reasonable supply of pink, green, and blue tourmaline. But just as Paraiba is special for the blues and greens, Exotic Pink is special for the pinks.

Exotic Pink Tourmaline comes from a single region in Nigeria. The gems are famous for their lack of inclusions, and their intense colors.

And the word coming from Nigeria is that the mines are yielding less and less gem material, a sign they are playing out. And, as you would expect, prices are going up.

Prices are up about 25% since February 2000, and are expected to keep going up.

As usual, The Dorado Company will continue to sell our existing stock of these gems at the old prices. You don't have to pay the higher prices, if you hurry…

You can Click here to visit our Tourmaline page if you wish.

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By The Way

I see in the trade news where the United States only commercial diamond mine has been sold.

The Kelsey Lake Mine in Colorado was recently sold to a Canadian company, McKenzie Bay International.

The Kelsey Lake Mine gain ed its high in notoriety a few years ago when a 28 carat diamond was recovered.

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Free Shipping

It's time I started working on our fall promotions. This year I'm offering FREE shipping on orders over $99. I'll put the information on our web pages by the end of August.

As a newsletter reader, you have the information early, and can take advantage of the FREE shipping right now!

Just deduct the shipping charge on your orders over $99.

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Until next month… please, visit me anytime at AZGem.com for a great selection of colored gems at great prices.

Carolyn Doyle

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